Photo Credit: Dr Nicola van Wilgen - Global Change Scientist.

The Simonstown African penguin colony is being closely monitored, and a recent census determined the number of breeding pairs currently in the area.


Simonstown, South Africa (25 June 2024) — Last week, Table Mountain National Park and South African National Parks (SANParks), in collaboration with partners, conducted the annual penguin census at Boulders Penguin Colony in Simonstown. They wanted to see how many breeding pairs were in the colony.

The census was done to count and survey the population of African Penguins to gather essential data about their numbers and distribution.

The team used drone technology to get to places they couldn’t. However, they reminded the public that drones are not permitted to be used by the general public in any national park. Doing so is illegal.

“The census team led by the scientists will work across the colony, counting breeding penguins. This year, as part of the census, SANParks will be working with a registered drone operator to assess available breeding habitats, elevation, and vegetation cover to inform future habitat management and counting efforts. The drone in this census poses no threat to the penguins, as it will fly 200 feet above them.

The public is reminded that operating a drone in a national park without the necessary permissions is illegal.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and ask that visitors be patient with us during this time.”

Knowing how many breeding pairs there are and how they are doing gives the team insight into what to expect come breeding season. Earlier this week we shared how another group of penguin enthusiasts is using technology (in the form of sneaky scales) to monitor the weight and health of the Betty’s Bay colony.

The census is complete and the data is being analysed, the team are getting ready to tackle any challenges that may pop up.

Sources: SANParks
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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